Belize attracts more than 800,000 visitors a year looking to explore the many fascinating Mayan archeological sites such as Altun Ha or Lamanai, snorkel the reef off Caye Caulker or the Northern Cayes, spot a toucan in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, or otherwise just enjoy paradise. Tourism is the country’s highest form of employment and investment, however ironically it is also the country’s largest environmental threat.
Fortunately, Belizeans are environmentally conscious and the country offers many ways for visitors to tread lightly, from jungle lodges built from reclaimed hardwoods to beach resorts powered by solar energy. Experienced and educated guides educate their clients about the threats to the jaguar’s habitat, the fragility of the reef, and the medicinal uses of flora.
Belizeans are very proud of their natural heritage and recognize that the incredible asset they have in their environment must be respected and protected, and that tourists have an largerole to play. They are easy-going people whom extend a warm welcome to travellers as they are eager to share their country’s staggering beauty and bountiful biodiversity.
The country managed to avoid the civil conflicts of the 80’s that engulfed Central America and is a fairly safe destination for the most part located in a part of the world that is not always considered safe. The infrastructure is very basic and income levels are still very low however the Belizeans are very proud and friendly to visitors and the tourist industry continues to grow at a rapid pace.
Where is Belize?
Belize is located between Guatemala to the west and south and Mexico to the north and offers the traveller a smorgasbord of activities. Snorkelling is a fantastic experience in Belize. Marine life if abundant and swimmers will love the coral, fish,turtles and dolphins. Kayaks are another brilliant way to explore the myriad little islands, each it’s own tiny paradise. Inland, birders aim their binoculars at some 570 species and explorers investigate ruins of ancient civilizations.